How to Make a Boat out of a Plastic Milk Carton

Written by kelly sundstrom
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How to Make a Boat out of a Plastic Milk Carton
You can use recycled materials to make whimsical toys. (Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

If your family drinks milk on a regular basis, you may have an excess of plastic milk cartons left behind. Instead of tossing these cartons into the garbage can, salvage them by showing your kids how they can turn the containers into whimsical toy boats. Not only will this allow your children to make an exciting new toy, but it will teach them how to reuse packaging to create useful items.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Plastic milk carton
  • Penknife
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue stick
  • Wooden dowel, 1/4 inch wide, 12 inches long
  • Fabric
  • Twine
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Place a washed and dried plastic milk carton on its side with the handle facing up. Cut the top half of the carton off using a penknife, starting at the opening and cutting off the handle. Discard the top half. Trim off any sharp areas using scissors.

  2. 2

    Insert a hot glue stick into a hot glue gun, and plug it into an electrical socket to heat up for five minutes.

  3. 3

    Squeeze a nickel-sized dollop of hot glue onto the centre of the carton half while it is laying on its side.

  4. 4

    Place a 1/4 inch wide, 12 inch long wooden dowel into the hot glue dollop, standing it vertically upright. Hold the dowel in place for three minutes to allow the hot glue to cool and harden properly.

  5. 5

    Cut out a triangle from fabric to measure 8 inches on all three sides. Squeeze a line of hot glue along one edge of the triangle. Press the glued edge along the wooden dowel, making sure the top corner of the triangle is positioned at the top of the dowel. Hold the fabric triangle in place for three minutes to allow the hot glue to cool and harden.

  6. 6

    Cut a piece of twine to measure 6 inches long, and squeeze a pea-sized dollop of hot glue onto one end of the twine. Press the glued end onto the edge of the triangle that is not glued to the dowel, and hold it in place for three minutes to allow the glue to harden. Hot-glue the other end of the twine onto the cut opening of the plastic milk carton in the same manner.

  7. 7

    Decorate the outside of the carton and the fabric triangle sail using acrylic paint. Allow the paint to dry for 30 minutes before sailing the boat in water.

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